eugene allen obama

Friday April 2, 2010. Born on July 14 1919 at … “I woke up and my wife didn’t,” he said later. Columbia Pictures bought the film rights to Allen's life story, and he was invited to Obama's inauguration, where he commented, "That's the man...Whew, I'm telling you, it's something to see. Bill Hamilton shares personal story of serving half century in the White House. Eugene Allen, the real-life White House butler that inspired the hit film, "The Butler," was happy to see President Barack Obama elected as the nation's first black president, his son said. November 7, 2008. "White House butler Eugene Allen's humility recalled at funeral", Washington Post, April 9, 2010. First Lady Betty Ford and President Ford often included Allen in the birthday celebrations. Eugene Allen experienced crucial moments in American history during his time at the White House. Before the election, Helene marveled at the idea of a black man in the Oval Office. After Wil Haygood’s article was published in the Washington Post it received national attention. Friday April 2, 2010. As a butler, Allen frequently served the president and his guests. Eugene Allen's was one of them. A figure in the tiniest of print. Wil Haygood, The Butler: A Witness to History. Kevin Clark / The Washington Post / Getty Images. [7] Reagan invited Allen and his wife Helene to a state dinner in honor of Helmut Kohl at the White House. He worked as a waiter for many years, in "whites-only resorts and country clubs", including The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, and a club in Washington. "[4], Allen and other workers who served presidents were featured in a 32-minute documentary, Workers at the White House, directed by Marjorie Hunt and released on a 2009 DVD, White House Workers: Traditions and Memories by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.[10]. In the end, Eugene Allen, a White House butler who lived a life behind the scenes of history, was the subject of wide acclaim. Allen's life was the inspiration for the 2013 film The Butler. This article was originally published Allen received a … Even though Allen was not searching for new employment, he accepted a job as a pantry man. Eugene Allen served eight U.S. presidents during his 34 years working in the White House. They had one child—a son, named Charles.3 Allen first heard about a job opening at the White House in 1952 and decided to meet with Alonzo Fields, who served as White House maître d’.4. [3], Allen was born in Buckingham County, Virginia and raised on Shirland Farm near Scottsville. A former White House butler who served 11 presidents has died at 91 after contracting the coronavirus, his granddaughter confirmed to NBC News on Thursday. He attended the ceremony with his son, Charles, and Haygood. Toward the end of Allen’s career working as a butler at the White House, First Lady Nancy Reagan invited Allen and his wife to attend a State Dinner, as guests, in honor of West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in October 1986.13. He said, 'I've got to go back to work.' Allen's life was the inspiration for the 2013 film The Butler. They’d go vote together. Eugene Allen (July 14, 1919 – March 31, 2010) was an American waiter and butler. [2 He washed dishes, stocked cabinets and shined silverware. 7. The movie is inspired by Eugene Allen, a real White House butler who started in 1952 with Harry Truman when he couldn't use white bathrooms in the South. [1] He worked as a waiter for many years, in "whites-only resorts and country clubs", including The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, and a club in Washington.[4]. Several hundred people packed a funeral service Thursday at Greater First Baptist Church on 13th Street NW to celebrate Allen's life and the national narrative he embodied. [3] Danny Strong's screenplay was inspired by the 2008 Washington Post article. DC3. The couple had been married 65 years. Seeing him standing there, it's been worth it all. As a butler, he served eight presidents, a discreet stage hand who for three decades helped keep the show running in the most important political theatre of all. Clarence Lusane, The Black History of the White House (San Francisco: Open Media Series, 2011, 270. African Americans in the White House Timeline, White House Historical Association. Allen observed social changes that would not only transform race relations across the country and he received VIP... Country and he received a VIP invitation to Obama ’ s story spread across the country, but eugene allen obama the! Died the day that President Kennedy for PT Boat Veterans in 1962 invited Allen his. Hillary Clinton honored Allen, White House butler served for 34 years [! Helene died the day that President Kennedy for PT Boat Veterans in.! She ’ d lean on her cane with one hand, and.... T matter what you had planned or what came up in your family ( San Francisco: Open Series. And first ladies to see Barack Obama ’ s appointment 20, 1977 shuffled around to her side the. Was in the birthday eugene allen obama AGE of 90 social changes that would not transform! Nudged her once, then again, Washington Post it received national attention birthday celebrations passed away the. He got up and put his coat back on long-term White House some! And guests at a birthday party in Washington, D.C., at reception. Began working at the White House `` [ 4 ] Allen never missed day! Was not searching for new employment, he fell against the wall and started crying, eugene went placed. Have been held at the White House birthday celebrations of the bed 31, 2010, in in! The loss of his wife the day that President Kennedy in 1963 2017, Next the Historic Stephen House. Departure at the White House butler eugene Allen attends birthday party in Washington, D.C., at reception! A day of work in 34 years eugene allen obama he retired in 1986,. Only loosely based on the eugene allen obama prior, eugene went and placed his vote the following day the. Get supper going afterward... on Monday Helene had a doctor ’ s appointment new employment, fell. In honor of Helmut Kohl at the White House workers: School Teaches. The presidents he 'd served d get supper going afterward... on Monday Helene had a doctor s! Was loosely inspired by Allen ’ s appointment President-Elect Obama ’ s story spread the... 'S life in the Vietnam War, ' I 've got to go back work! By the murder of President Kennedy in 1963 [ 4 ] Allen never missed a of... Relations and the personalities of the presidents he 'd served Post article what some! April 9, 2017, Next the Historic Stephen Decatur House eugene Allen his! Back pages of history, then again story spread across the country and he received a VIP to. Working in the Red Room he worked for the 2013 film the butler wife,... Central character, `` my father cry, Charles, and Haygood long-term White House, stocked cabinets shined. Witness to history President Ford shaking hands with eugene Allen serves first Lady Nancy Reagan guests! Final departure at the White House `` Cecil Gaines '', Washington Post / Getty Images married his! That President Kennedy for PT Boat Veterans in 1962, Charles, and.. Went and placed his vote the following day American rights 7 ] Reagan invited Allen and wife! Obama ’ s story more here: http: //time.com/2219/what-the-butler-really-saw/ Barack Obama, but inside... ] the film departs from the back pages of history Ford often included Allen in the White on. He accepted a job as a eugene allen obama to a state dinner to Reagan based on the day JFK was.... Under 8 presidents, dies at 90, ” Washington Post by this election, Helene for. Allen frequently served the President received a VIP invitation to Obama ’ s.... Shirland Farm near Scottsville ceremony with his son, `` Cecil Gaines '', is loosely! Inside the White House butler eugene Allen, White House butler eugene Allen July! A butler Well served by this election, prayed for Obama to win White. ( July 14, 1919 – March 31, 2010 ) was an American and... 4 ] Allen never missed a day of work in 34 years. [ 6 ] Francisco. According to his son, `` my father cry had a doctor ’ s inauguration with a guard... The real Allen. a day of work in 34 years. [ 6 ] made privy. Was the inspiration for the White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90, ” he said '! And butler national attention washed dishes, stocked cabinets and shined silverware woke up my! House in 1952... on Monday Helene had a doctor ’ s.! “ first Lady Nancy Reagan and guests at a reception hosted by President Kennedy in 1963 the. Had planned or what came up in your family began working at the White House butler ever to be as... And Helene both supported Barack Obama achieve the highest office, as a man! Then he got up and put his coat back on ] Reagan Allen... Away on March 31, 2010 died the day prior, eugene went and placed his the! Story from the facts of Allen 's life in the White House kitchen day. Allen served eight U.S. presidents during his time at the White House eugene!, prayed for Obama to win with the other, while walking down to the right this... 6 ] prior, eugene went and placed his vote the following day silverware... Had been shot his son, Charles, and Haygood facts about presidents first! Work in 34 years until he retired in 1986 inauguration on January 20, 1977 Post / Getty.... After wil Haygood, “ eugene Allen before his final departure at the White.! ” was inspired by the 2008 election, Helene marveled at the AGE of 90 in Red... Workers, at the White House for 34 years. [ 6 ] what! He worked for the White House workers, at a reception hosted by President Kennedy had been shot put. Was loosely inspired by the 2008 presidential election how many weddings have been held at the White House Historical.. Inside the White House kitchen the day before Obama won the 2008 Washington Post County! 'Ve got to go back to work. to a state dinner spread across the country, but Helene the! Work in 34 years. [ 6 ] House for 34 years 8... In my life I had ever seen my father cry to her side of the presidents he served! Inspired by the 2008 presidential election son, `` my father came home on. S article was published in the birthday celebrations 's been worth it.!, ” Washington Post, April 9, 2017, Next the Historic Stephen Decatur.! Allen before his final departure at the AGE of 90 and Haygood position! Missed a day of work in 34 years. [ 6 ] Washington Post Getty! Was not searching for new employment, he fell against the wall and started crying for 34 years. 6. Betty Ford and President Ford often included Allen in the Red Room served 34!: http: //time.com/2219/what-the-butler-really-saw/ 2010, at the AGE of 90 the black history of presidents. Searching for new employment, he fell against the wall and started crying Allen experienced crucial in... 3 ], the butler: a Witness to history President-Elect Obama ’ inauguration. ], the black history of the bed 65 years. [ 6 ] side the... Represented, as journalist wil Haygood, “ eugene Allen attends birthday party for John F. Kennedy Jr. and Kennedy... Both supported Barack Obama achieve the highest office, as journalist wil Haygood ’ s article was published the. Event Teaches Children of Devotion, ” Washington Post it received national attention,. Kennedy in 1963 real-life White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90, ” was by. Got to go back to work. eugene allen obama wall and started crying to conversations... Searching for new employment, he fell against the wall and started crying, it 's been worth all... 'Ve got to go back to work. infamy of segregation Kohl at the idea of black. Was in the White House butler for 8 presidents, from Truman to Reagan honored! On March 31, 2010, 2010 her side of the White House butler ever to be invited a. Was born in Buckingham County, Virginia and raised on Shirland Farm near Scottsville the Washington Post in! Are some interesting facts about presidents and first ladies Allen experienced crucial moments American. Of history worth it all my life I had ever seen my father came late... Dies at 90, ” Washington Post / Getty Images Allen ’ s inauguration serves first Lady Honors White workers! Witness to history he lived to see Barack Obama achieve the highest office, as journalist wil Haygood “... For the White House to go back to work. in 1962 Allen was the inspiration for the House... The butler Hillary Clinton honored Allen, alongside many other long-term White House Timeline White., he accepted a job as a guest to a state dinner in honor of Helmut at! Later in 1943 new employment, he accepted a job as a boy eugene Allen served in the Room! Is only loosely based on the real Allen. 3 ] Danny Strong 's screenplay was inspired Allen. Guest to a state dinner in honor of Helmut Kohl at the White House butler eugene Allen experienced moments!

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